Walden Chapter 9


English 11 H

Period 1

In this chapter of Walden, titled “The Ponds,” Henry David Thoreau relates the ponds, especially Walden Pond, to something that is so pure that it surpasses the understanding of coarse and dull human beings. He describes the pond as something that has never aged, never changed under the pressures and effect of man; it is timeless and ageless. He describes the water as so pure that you can often see twenty to thirty feet to the bottom and some consider it even infinitely deep. The water of the pond is often so smooth and transient that it almost seems like a mirror made of absolutely nothing. The virgin pond has been unaffected by man and it is almost divine in its purity, impossible for man to comprehend. The profound beauty of Walden offers a stark juxtaposition to the areas of human encroachment such as the railroads that travel along it for a short length.

The way that Thoreau describes Walden Pond is so articulate and moving that it almost brings the image alive. You can almost vicariously experience the beauty and breathtaking splendor of the crystal clear lake. He describes every aspect of the pond to such minute detail that by the end of the chapter, you almost feel as if you’ve been to Walden Pond numerous times before. He goes into such detail in the rippling of the water that you can imagine exactly what it would look like; the imagery that Thoreau uses is so vivid and lush that I almost developed a sense of envy that he could experience such beautiful country while I live in a homogeneous land of identical houses and sterile, manufactured scenery.